Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Burning Money, Posts Biggest Quarterly Loss Ever
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Wednesday, Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) said it has revised production targets for its Model 3 electric sedan, posting its worst-ever Quarterly loss, and warned that its spending would increase this year.
Money-losing Tesla’s long-term ability to survive depends on annually selling billions of dollars of Model 3’s, the new sedan that starts at $35,000, a car that it has not been able to produce efficiently and in significant numbers.
Production delays have curtailed deliveries of the vehicle to customers, there were just 1,550 deliveries in Q-4, far below the 4,000 vehicles expected by analysts, and the 5000 predicted by the company, meaning revenue from the troubled vehicle is non existant.
Tesla says, it expects to build 2,500 Model 3s per week by the end of March, and 5,000 by the end Q-2. But, Wednesday it acknowledged the difficulty of accurate production forecasts, so the door open for more delays, disappointments, limited deliveries, burnt money and no profits.
Tesla spent $787-M in capital expenditures in Q-4, a bit,below its projections, but said capital spending would be “slightly more” this year, than last, given expanded production at its Fremont factory and Nevada Gigafactory.
Tesla ended Q-4 with $3.37-B in cash less than in Q-3, Earlier this month, the company raised $546-M in securitized notes backed by Model S and X lease payments, the 1st time Tesla has securitized its leases.
Notably, it has no financing line for car buyers.
About, 2 years ago CEO Elon Musk proclaimed Tesla would produce 500,000 vehicles in Y 2018, mostly Model 3s, a 6-fold increase over 2016 marks, that appear an impossibility now, as it did then.
Hypemeister Musk’s ambitions, if realized, could allow the billionaire to earn as much as $55.8-B in Tesla stock in the next 10 years under a new compensation plan that prioritizes a 10X boost in the company’s market value over profitability, that mark also seems impossible.
Tesla’s stock, driven by belief by some in the long-term prospects of the company has made the company the 2nd-most valuable US automaker, just behind General Motors Co (NYSE:GM), which had net revenue of $145.6-B in Y 2017, and that really makes and sell cars, include some EVs.
Automotive gross margin, which excludes the sale of zero emission vehicle (ZEV) credits, fell to 13.8 percent from 22.2% last year. Analysts on average had expected margins of 15.7%, according to FactSet.
Net loss widened to $675.4-M, or $4.01/share, for Q-4 ended 31 December from $121.3-M, or $0.78/share, in the same frame last year, automotive analysts were expecting a loss of $3.12/share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Shares of Tesla have fallen 10$ from its 52 wk high of 385 in September, but are +10 YTD.
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